Plans for a new hospital in favour of expanding an existing site will be discussed in a series of “public briefing sessions”.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group have announced they will host a run of public meetings outlining plans to revise an expansion of St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and consider a completely new building instead.

The trust and CCG’s decision to reconsider their development plans was provoked by research put forward by the New Hospital Campaign urging a new hospital could be built “more quickly” and with less money.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning then wrote a letter to health bosses presenting the findings.

The new facility is proposed for a site between St Albans and Dacorum with refurbishment at Watford General continuing as planned. Work to update the “strategic outline case” was requested by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Dates and venues for the meetings are scheduled for:

• October 17 between 4pm-6pm at Allum Hall, Elstree

• October 23 between 7pm-9pm at Laureate Academy, Warners End Road, Hemel Hempstead

• October 24 between 7pm-9pm at Trinity Church Hall St Albans

• November 6 between 7pm-9pm at The Hub room, West Herts College, Watford

Helen Brown, acting chief executive at West Herts Hospitals Trust, said: “We’re doing some further work to our strategic outline case to satisfy NHS Improvement and NHS England that our plans are solid.

“Things have moved on in the 12 months since we submitted our strategic outline case and in view of that we need to look again at some of our figures, both around patient numbers and finances.

In particular, we need to look at how we can make our plans as affordable as possible by looking at how we can do the development in phases.

“While we’re doing that additional work, we’ll look at the feasibility of an alternative option that would bring planned care onto a single site.

“However, the proposal to develop planned care on the St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospital sites as set out in the original strategic outline case currently remains our preferred way forward.”

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